Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

TEMPORARY INSANITY—OR TV RUINED MY LIFE—AGAIN
I carry around in my mind a very distinct, very real-feeling childhood memory, that makes me feel warm and fuzzy every time I think about it. I was four or five years old, and every day I came home from either pre-school or kindergarten, I don’t recall which it was, my mom had a bowl of warm, buttery mashed potatoes waiting for me. I assume my older sister was at school, and I don’t know where my little brother was, but I remember it was just mom and me.
She would ask about my day at school as we sat at the counter and I ate my potatoes. Just the two of us. I was a big girl, having grown-up conversation with my mom. During our time, the soap opera As the World Turns would come on the tv, and I remember listening to the theme song and watching the world turn on the television, driving home the point that I was a big, special girl with my mom.
So, feeling lazy and nostalgic, with nothing pressing on my agenda, I decided to spend the day cleaning, organizing, and playing domestic goddess. I thought the background noise of daytime television would be the perfect touch, so I decided to make an honest effort to hook up my tv to the antenna, again. Brilliantly I decided not to fiddle with all the channels, so I went online to find out which numbers corresponded to the local channels. An hour and two cups of coffee later, I had my list. Then I decided to look up program schedules. I gave up on that endeavor after thirty minutes, frustrated that the websites were riddled with advertisements and every bit of information other than the actual show times.
After yet nearly another hour fiddling with the antenna, I was pretty sure I found one of the channels I was looking for. I wasn’t sure which one, because the stupid banner running across the bottom of the screen blocked out the station symbol, but the picture was clear so I left it at that and began puttering about as I watched the morning news. I cleaned, vacuumed, started laundry, made breakfast, and waited for the next show.
The next show was news again. Different people, exact same stories. Oh well, there would be another show in an hour. Again, news. Same people and same stories as the first hour. Mildly irritated, I went for a jog. When I returned I was rewarded with a show called The Doctors. They teased me by promising to give me information about skin care and looking younger. I settled in with my lunch to watch. After about three minutes of show, they again teased me and went to commercial. I was bombarded with lawyers, drugs, depression, and more lawyers. I gave up the cause and took a hot bath and a nap.
Several hours later, judge shows came on. They were mildly entertaining, but again with the teasing, commercials and very little programming. Not daring to turn the tv off for fear I may not get reception again, I muted it and did some writing, waiting for the evening shows. I waited again through three hours of news, and tried again at seven o’clock. I sat through two hours of programming, all of which were bad sitcoms that consisted of all sex jokes all the time. Not even witty, sly innuendos, just blatant disgusting banter. Except for one show about two broken girls. They threw around a few sex jokes, but mostly they just tried hard to act mean, caustic and unlikeable. I cursed the whole time, yet didn’t want to believe that tv was ruining my life—AGAIN.
Reluctantly admitting defeat, I climbed into bed and decided to take a chance on scanning the channels. Woohoo! I was immediately rewarded with re-runs of CHEERS. The picture was 90 percent good, but every few second the screen would freeze and the words would stop. I tried to ignore it, I really did, but after about five minute I jumped out of bed, determined to battle the antenna once again. Clad in just a tank top and my underwear I began wiggling the antenna, and immediately lost the channel completely. I was not going to lose this battle, so I tried every which way I could move the antenna. Finally the picture was clear and the sound was good, but the moment I let go of the antenna it faded again. It was obvious that the only way I would get reception was to keep holding the antenna, high above my head.
It was at this point I felt my mind begin to slip. How could we, as Americans, be tricked into losing our privilege of free television? What if there were a hurricane coming right now, and I would never know because I could get the freakin’ tv to work? How could our basic right be taken away? How had we allowed big media to force us to either buy new televisions or pay for cable monthly? How? How? Why?
Fearing an aneurism, I forced myself to gently set the antenna down and step back. I stood with hands on my hips, calming myself, looking at the blank screen, angry at the injustice and nonsense. I hate to lose, so I told myself I would try it just one more time. As my fingers closed around the slim, cold metal of the two pieces of antenna, I very much understood how people could have a moment of complete insanity as their mind snaps. The next 30 seconds were a blur. I squeezed, I pulled, I twisted, and in a flurry of hands and metal, the antennas snapped, then the snapped pieces snapped again, and finally the entire setup ended up on the floor, the once straight pieces of metal twisted at odd angles in the shapes of a Z. I did refrain from touching the television itself, since it works great with a DVD player, but the antenna was officially dead. I stomped on it just to be sure.
I suffered a few scratches on my bare legs as I twisted and beat the crap out of the scrawny antennas, and after a full day of trying to get along with television, I went to bed with only a stinging pain on my thighs as a result.

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January 3, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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